Laurel, Md. – March 31, 2021 – The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has determined that WSSC Water’s rate and billing structure adopted in June 2019 and implemented on July 1, 2019, treats all customers equally and encourages water conservation. The rate structure had been challenged by a WSSC Water customer with an appeal to the Maryland PSC in July 2019.

Public Utility Law Judge Jennifer J. Grace presided over the appeal by customer Gordon Brenne who argued that the four-tier, inclining block rate structure discriminated against higher volume users, including larger families, by charging a higher average per gallon cost for the water they consume.

The judge backed WSSC Water’s assertion that the new rate structure is reasonable, finding that it “treats all customers equally in that each customer pays the same rates for the same  services.” The judge further confirmed that the use of inclining block rate structures is commonly recognized by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the American Water Works Association as promoting water conservation.

“We engaged in a transparent and comprehensive outreach campaign with customers and key stakeholders in developing a rate structure that was equitable across the board, while fostering affordability, water conservation as well as rate and revenue stability,” said WSSC Water General Manager and CEO Carla A. Reid. “I am pleased that the Public Service Commission validated our modern rate structure, which is fair and reasonable for all customers.”

WSSC Water’s rate structure is a four-tier inclining block rate structure, meaning that the price increases as customers use more water and enter higher tiers.

In determining rate structure options, WSSC Water conducted a comprehensive cost-of-service study in 2017, and consulted nationally renowned rate structure experts, an authority on Maryland water conservation, and a consumer advocate and affordability expert. To ensure customers were engaged, WSSC held or participated in more than 30 public meetings or hearings, including several special Commission meetings.

Judge Grace rendered her decision on February 15, 2021, and it became the Final Order of the PSC on March 19, 2021.

WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.